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London played a key role in the Latin American independence movements, with many of the architects of the freedom movement developing their ideas or soliciting assistance in the capital. Venezuelan-born Francisco de Miranda (1750-1816) travelled to London in the 1780s to obtain British support for an independence movement in South America, and led the first liberating expedition to his country in 1806. A statue of Miranda is located in Fitzroy Street, London. Peruvian writer and intellectual, Juan Pablo Viscardo y Guzmán’s (1748- 1798) time in London is marked by a plaque on his former home in Baker Street.

Viscardo y Guzmán wrote the manifesto ‘Letter to the Spanish Americans’ - regarded as one of the earliest publications calling for Spanish American freedom. Chilean-born Bernardo O’Higgins (1778-1842), who was sent to London as a teenager to finish his studies, became involved in the London-based movement working to liberate Latin America. A statue of O’Higgins is located in Richmond.

Argentine general and leader José de San Martín (1778-1850) met likeminded revolutionaries in London in 1811-12, and went on to liberate Argentina and Chile, also playing a key role in the independence of Peru. A statue of José de San Martín is found in Belgrave Square. Arguably the best known of this esteemed group was the Venezuelan military and political leader, Simón Bolívar (1783-1830). Bolívar, known as “El Libertador”, played a key role in Latin America’s successful fight for independence from Spain. A statue of Bolívar can be found in Belgrave Square.


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